Who here has HAD a “Plexi”…

tjnugent

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That is to say a Marshall (50-100w NMV Superlead, or a small watt variant, i.e. SV) or has had some plexi-derived amp from another builder or kit, and you now no longer have anything in the vein of the “plexi” with any plans to remedy that situation by getting some such amp in the future?

a person Never having had one with no plans to try one, I get. Having had one with no plans to return ever absolutely fascinates me. Having gone there, I don’t think I could fathom being without one indefinitely. If you are that person, why, and what have you gone off to instead?
Back in the 1970's I was in high school. I needed an amp that would be able to play gigs with my band. The music store had a Marshall head and a sound citry cab so I bought both for $500.. The amp was a 1968 Small Box Plexi. The JTM. 50 watt. It was very clean until you really pushed it. What an amazing amp. I knew nothing about tubes and having to change them. Nobody did back then. The amp eventually died but after a long period of gigs... I sold the pair for $300.. and moved to CA. There I bought a Lab Series L5.. which was okay, but not that marshall. Amazing amp. The Sound City Cab had Fane 12s in it. Great pairing. Cheers!
 

Salty Rose

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Back in the 1970's I was in high school. I needed an amp that would be able to play gigs with my band. The music store had a Marshall head and a sound citry cab so I bought both for $500.. The amp was a 1968 Small Box Plexi. The JTM. 50 watt. It was very clean until you really pushed it. What an amazing amp. I knew nothing about tubes and having to change them. Nobody did back then. The amp eventually died but after a long period of gigs... I sold the pair for $300.. and moved to CA. There I bought a Lab Series L5.. which was okay, but not that marshall. Amazing amp. The Sound City Cab had Fane 12s in it. Great pairing. Cheers!
Right? We didn’t know anything:D

Older hippy guys showed me the ropes. Pull your tubes, mark them with tape to know which socket to put them back into after testing, take them to the drug store, and test em. Thrifty Drug Store had a big tube testing machine, with replacement tubes in a drawer below it. That was all I knew of amp servicing, when I was a teenager in the 70’s.

I don’t think I heard of amp bias, or met an actual tech, till I was almost 30;)
 

wavytech

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Around 1989 I bought a 1968 100-watt Super Lead Plexi from the late, great Ken Fischer of Trainwreck Circuits.
...
I only played it fully cranked once, and it was a frightening experience. A friend of mine owned an electrical supply company. He gave me the keys so I could try out the amp in the warehouse on a Saturday when no one was there. I set up the half stack on a wooden pallet, and strung 40 feet of lead wire, allowing me to move a safe distance away. I popped in a pair of earplugs, dimed the controls, and stood as far away from the amp as possible. I hit an E chord, and actually felt my pants legs vibrating. At that point I wondered how Jimi Hendrix could handle standing in front of three full stacks for two minutes, let alone a whole show. I played for another five minutes, then called it a day. After that, I’d occasionally play through it, but it mostly sat and collected dust. I eventually sold the head and cabinet for double the amount I paid. I have no desire to own another Plexi. It’s just not a practical choice for my situation.
Hendrix played with his back to the cabinets anywhere between 10 to 20 feet away. I played a 200w Sunn Concert lead through a 6x10 cabinet a full volume at gigs in the early 80s without any hearing loss. The hurt zone in my experience is facing the cabinets from 20 to 50 feet away in a closed space. Curious what other people think.
 

Mitch1290

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Built myself a jtm50 ptp with ppimv a few years ago and have a 69 plexi/2204 switchable self build ready for wiring. There really is nothing like it. Great pedal platform, great boosted with a maxon 808, great with fuzz pedals, great with high gain distortion/rat/insert favourite filth and love the "loose" bottom end from the valve Rectifier.
 

Roymandiver

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That is to say a Marshall (50-100w NMV Superlead, or a small watt variant, i.e. SV) or has had some plexi-derived amp from another builder or kit, and you now no longer have anything in the vein of the “plexi” with any plans to remedy that situation by getting some such amp in the future?

a person Never having had one with no plans to try one, I get. Having had one with no plans to return ever absolutely fascinates me. Having gone there, I don’t think I could fathom being without one indefinitely. If you are that person, why, and what have you gone off to instead?
I had one but it was stolen years ago. It was tuned by JD Bennet at Heart of Texas Music in Austin. Had 6550s in it. After it was stolen by a guy named Kenny Stedemann. I bought my JCM800 2010. I really do like the master volume and reverb.If I need something for a smaller venue I use a VS65. Work well for me.
 

Smokie 54

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That is to say a Marshall (50-100w NMV Superlead, or a small watt variant, i.e. SV) or has had some plexi-derived amp from another builder or kit, and you now no longer have anything in the vein of the “plexi” with any plans to remedy that situation by getting some such amp in the future?

a person Never having had one with no plans to try one, I get. Having had one with no plans to return ever absolutely fascinates me. Having gone there, I don’t think I could fathom being without one indefinitely. If you are that person, why, and what have you gone off to instead?
A JCM800 2204 replaced an early 1970s 1987 50W and now using a Vintage Modern. Things change. To everything there is a season.

After many years, I also got into other tones. I do understand the question, but for me, the plexi was not a fetish (well, maybe for a bit), but another flavor of the modified 5F6 Bassman, maybe because I had one before internet memes made it an idol endowed with magical powers. If Clapton, Hendrix, Page, Blackmore, etc., used them, they were good enough for me. There are so many incredible and versatile amps available now. It's not that hard to get close enough to the old Marshall sound. If I developed a strong nostalgia for a return to the past, I would build one or buy a good clone instead of buying an old Marshall...or a new one. It's a simple circuit. Thanks, Leo (or RCA)!
 

tallcoolone

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A JCM800 2204 replaced an early 1970s 1987 50W and now using a Vintage Modern. Things change. To everything there is a season.

After many years, I also got into other tones. I do understand the question, but for me, the plexi was not a fetish (well, maybe for a bit), but another flavor of the modified 5F6 Bassman, maybe because I had one before internet memes made it an idol endowed with magical powers. If Clapton, Hendrix, Page, Blackmore, etc., used them, they were good enough for me. There are so many incredible and versatile amps available now. It's not that hard to get close enough to the old Marshall sound. If I developed a strong nostalgia for a return to the past, I would build one or buy a good clone instead of buying an old Marshall...or a new one. It's a simple circuit. Thanks, Leo (or RCA)!
Maybe, but I always have a bunch of amps around and nothing ever has the bite of a Marshall except a Marshall. Depends on what ‘close enough’ is I suppose.

Cool to hear from a long time member who doesn’t post much btw! You like the VM? I found it a bit ‘tubby’.
 
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I've had numerous ones. I finally got a keeper, a 1967 Fifty watter. I run it through an attenuator and push the front end with a wampler parametric eq and an mxr studio comp.

That's the way you get a rich sound.,Just natural distortion.

Part of the trick is finding the resonant frequency. I use the parametric eq to sweep frequencies until I get the most gain out of the amp, that's the resonant point.

I'm an electrical engineer so I describe things as you would expect. :~)
 

Chris-in-LA

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I never attenuated my 20 watt 2061x half stack, always ran it flat-out. And it sounded great that way. That thing was the voice of the gods. But I saw smoke (literally) come out of it twice when it blew.

The last straw was playing a nightclub, and the FOH guys tells me, “you need to turn up a little bit”. But I was already maxed out:shock:

I like more power for rock. But I can dig the appeal of the 20’s, because I LOVE light weight guitars and amps.
So, go with a 30 watt JTM45.
 

LoudStroud

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Great thread! I’ve owned many Marshalls over the years, but I’m only on my second plexi, as of recently. The first was a ‘68 50 watt Lead head back in the late 80s early 90s. The latest is a ’68 Trem 50. Have played through plenty of others. I can’t put my finger on it, but the plexi just has this “thing”. More clarity and pureness. I can’t understand why it could change over the course of 1 to 2 years.

At one point I owned both the ‘68 50 watt Lead and a ‘71 small box Lead 50 that I still have today. For some reason back then, I preferred the ‘71’s tone, but now I wish I had the ‘68 again.

My recently acquired ‘68 Trem 50 is amazing sounding and incredibly versatile, from clean to crank. Virtually the same amp used in the “Bluesbreaker” combo of that period.

If you ever have an opportunity to buy a real plexi, you should treat yourself.

And the best attenuator I’ve found to to date is Fryette Power Station.
 

dimbulb

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I had a 1959SPL back when I was trying to get a Page tone. I got that tone, but the head was heavy and it had to be cranked.

Since then I’ve move on to a modified DSL40 head. Less high end raspiness than the 59, and more gain on tap.

By "more gain", do you mean more distortion?
 

dimbulb

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Like many here, I've had several Marshalls. 2nd to most recent was the Origin 20h. Let's be clear on that one - nothing remotely 'plexi' about it, besides the general look it's obviously aimed at.

But, I do have a proper plexi nowadays. A JTM45. I manage it with a Power Station,which then feeds into my 4x12 basketweave. There is absolutely nothing like it (prefer it sans Power Station, but I've got my wife to consider while at home!). Of the tube amps I've had, or still have, a Peavey, Budda, Mesa, Egnater (old ones), Fenders, other Marshalls, H&K, Line 6, PRS <USA>, Vox, SUNN Model-T RI, and a Rivera, none of them kicked me in the nads the way my plexi does. Sure, several of the amps I listed are 50,130w, and they would kill my ears, but the plexi shakes my insides like no other. It's such a pleasing high volume.

KT66 or 6L6 on that JTM45? Do you miss EL34s?
 

XTRXTR

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I guess I don't get it. Many of you want Plexi but augment it whether it's simply a jumper or running a set of 10 pedals in front and in some cases modify with an extra gain tube.

Admittedly I've never played through one. Even something like a jumper is adding a bit more gain and tone control.

I submit you can get the same sound from a 2204. Run in low input with the preamp down and the MV up for loud clean and a little tube breakup. You can tweak the PV up higher and bring down the MV a bit each to get a slightly higher gain. You can go into High input with the PV down and MV up for a similar tone. PV higher lower MV for real nice overdrives all while using guitar volume and tone knobs to control when you want just a bit of a loud fill then pull it right back down.

I can get crispy fender type clean Lenny all the way to full Voodoo Chile.

If I put a pedal in front I can't get all the heavy metal you want.

Perhaps the tone is in the fingers and what string set, slinky or medium to heavy, I use steel picks maybe that changes things. I got my chops on a 2204 with a Lotus Les Paul knock off brand and a Fender acoustic practicing playing leads. Actually I just remembered I had a Sears 150 with 6x10 jensens and that les paul copy broke its neck. I bolted a Fender knock off brand neck to it, fret scale worked somehow. Shortly after I got the 2204 new with 6550s.

I digress, it's very interesting to have read all these posts on this thread. Everyone has their tone and its very subjective to many variables. I'm not trying to bad mouth anyone or any amp. It is just very interesting to see the descriptions of so many amps.
 

BijouDrains

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I originally posted in this forum in June of 2012 about my acquisition of my brand new 2005 JTM 45/100 40th Anniversary Stack (Super Amplifier - aka; the “original” plexi). Acquired brand new from my preferred dealer in 2012 (they had 2 unsold 40th Anniversary Stacks and 1 JH Anniversary Stack, at the time).

Most here know of it and it’s specs: 2 50W OT, 4 KT66’s. Breaks up early puts out creamy smooth overdrive all day long. Distortion at high volumes 7+ and a 1968 SG with original P90’s full on that doesn’t pierce one’s tympanic membranes. At the upper volume levels it NAILS Angus Young. I mean it NAILS that tone!

Although I live in a SFH and have cool neighbors, I do crank it up on Saturday afternoons but most often use 2 Marshall Power Brakes with it (one for each OT) because shit falls off the window sills through the vibrations. Place a 70’s Univox Super Fuzz or any other decent distortion pedal in front of it, and you’re in 80’s metal territory. The mid-late 60’s and Woodstock era tones are what keep me plugging into this beauty, though.

No need for a MV. Roll back on the guitar’s volume and you’re clean and warm. Have had it for 10 years and doubt I’ll ever part with it. Absolutely no regrets!
 

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V-man

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A JCM800 2204 replaced an early 1970s 1987 50W and now using a Vintage Modern. Things change. To everything there is a season.

After many years, I also got into other tones. I do understand the question, but for me, the plexi was not a fetish (well, maybe for a bit), but another flavor of the modified 5F6 Bassman, maybe because I had one before internet memes made it an idol endowed with magical powers. If Clapton, Hendrix, Page, Blackmore, etc., used them, they were good enough for me. There are so many incredible and versatile amps available now. It's not that hard to get close enough to the old Marshall sound. If I developed a strong nostalgia for a return to the past, I would build one or buy a good clone instead of buying an old Marshall...or a new one. It's a simple circuit. Thanks, Leo (or RCA)!
Perfectly valid response and one I was fishing for with the thread in mind. Part of the thread had a but of confirmation bias, as I anticipated feom my experience, but I also wondered whether any truly moved on, why, and to what.
 


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